ohdk's X-Men Origins: Wolverine Uncaged Edition (PC) review

Boredom: UNCAGED EDITION!!

Just out of curiosity, is there a "caged edition?" Whatever.

Here is another game that looked promising in previews. Raven, the makers of the excellent X-Men Legends and Marvel: Ultimate Alliance series take the badass mutant of all time, played with bravado by Hugh Jackman, and wonder what would happen if Wolverine's claws weren't in a PG-13 movie. The videos showed Hugh Jackman slicing people's arms off, their legs off, using a live helicopter to blend a dude's head. Lastly, the makers proudly proclaimed "the first movie-game that doesn't suck!!!" It was awesome, and I wanted to play it.

For the first hour or two, the game delivers exactly on these points. The fighting, while loose and random, was unflinchingly brutal and you truly felt like you were in the shoes of the Australian Oscar host. Limbs went flying, dudes dismembered. To cap it all off, there was a powerful and fulfilling "lunge" move, where you could leap fifty feet and stab an unfortunate dude.

It's all stuff you've seen before (read: Ninja Gaiden II), but the novelty of being Wolverine was what made this game so compelling. To this end, I believe the game would have been strongest by playing to the points that make Wolverine Wolverine. Unfortunately, beyond the visceral combat and some nifty visual touches (like bone and flesh reknitting itself) this game fails to pan out in that front. You start to pick up a few combos that you will end up using over and over again, and while the game occasionally shifts environments, you're mostly stuck in the jungle fighting the same dudes over and over again. The game tries to mix this up by throwing a few "boss" creatures like a Magma beast to mix up the action, but this doesn't work for two reasons:

1: The Magma beasts (i.e. all bosses) are annoying and easy
2: Magma beast? WTF?

It probably doesn't help that the game, in an attempt to avoid spoiling the movie (which it does anyway) makes about as much sense as starting the ER from episode 70. Wolverine wants to save his brother, then wants to kill him, then some random girl telling a ridiculous "Native American legend" about the Wolverine dies, then Jackman is in a secret lab... what? Since Wolverine is, at heart, a comic book character, I hoped to be treated to a quality comic-book story. I guess, in the end, this is a movie-based game after all. (note: I didn't see the movie)

The bottom line is, the game is boring. Crazy, visceral combat can only sustain you if the gore gets consistenly gorier, or if the fighting has a depth that challenges you to master the system (which Ninja Gaiden has). What actually happened was that after a heady hour destroying soldiers, I got bored and only pushed through to see if the plot made any sense in the end. It didn't.

This is a shame, because Wolverine: UNCAGED EDITION!!! is very polished and consistently high quality on many fronts. The graphics, while not incredible, are very solid. Jackman looks like Jackman, the regenerating body looks cool. The combat has no noticeable glitches, and the various quicktime events flow seamlessly from the core action. However, it seems that the polishing time came at the expense of time designing the game.

In the end, I would recommend you play the game if you like Wolverine, but only till you get tired of the action. It doesn't pick up. If you don't like Wolverine, stick to Ninja Gaiden.

0 Comments

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